With a hectic final day of play in the books, the 2020 playoff field is officially set – which visual learners can view here from MLB Network. The defending World Series champion Nationals and their newly-crowned batting champion Juan Soto will watch from home. The Mets and Phillies turned in disappointing seasons, while the Marlins stunned their NL East counterparts to enter the postseason as the #6 seed in the National League. The Braves weathered a line change in their starting rotation to win their third consecutive NL East title.
Elsewhere in the National League, Dodgers are the team to beat, while the Padres are the team to watch. The Rockies and Diamondbacks will face some hard questions in the offseason after disappointing years, while the Giants exceeded expectations but narrowly missed the postseason.
The Central makes up half the playoff field in the National League with everyone but the Pirates continuing into MLB’s second season. The Cubs took home their third division title in five seasons behind stellar years from Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks, but it was a difficult season for many of their core offensive players. They were also the only team in the majors to go the entire season without a single player testing positive for COVID-19, per NBC Sports Chicago and others. The Cardinals will be the #5 seed after playing two fewer games than the rest of the league, Trevor Bauer led the Reds back to the postseason by winning the NL ERA title (in a free agent year no less), and the Brewers backed into the NL’s #8 seed without ever being above .500 in 2020.
In the American League, small markets had themselves a year. The A’s took the AL West back from the defending AL champion Astros. Speaking of, Houston finished a tumultuous year without their ace Justin Verlander. Manager Dusty Baker will lead his fifth different team to the postseason, this one joining the Brewers as one of two under-.500 teams to reach the postseason. The Angels will reboot after firing their GM earlier today, while the Rangers and Mariners continue their rebuilds.
The Rays, meanwhile, won the AL East for the first time in a decade and they’re the top seed in the American League. The Yankees settle for second place and the Blue Jays arrive to the postseason a little earlier than expected as the AL’s #8 seed. The Red Sox took an expected step back, while the Orioles performed better than expected, staying in the playoff hunt for most of the season.
The Twins lost in extras today, but they nonetheless secured their second consecutive AL Central title. Shane Bieber put up a potentially MVP season to get the Indians back to the playoffs. The White Sox arrived in a major way led by Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu. Only a late season slide kept them from a division crown. They’ll head to Oakland as the #7 seed. The Tigers debuted a number of players they hope will be a part of their next competitive team, while the Royals said goodbye to a franchise icon in Alex Gordon’s final season.
It was a short and bizarre season, but the playoffs – while expanded – aren’t going to be all that different from most years. There will be neutral sites and a wild card round of 3-game series, and playoff bubbles, but once the field is pared down to eight, it’s more or less business as usual for the postseason. It should be an exciting month of October.
Here’s the final field of 16:
(8) Brewers at (1) Dodgers
(5) Cardinals at (4) Padres
(6) Marlins at (3) Cubs
(7) Reds at (2) Braves
(8) Blue Jays at (1) Rays
(5) Yankees at (4) Indians
(6) Astros at (3) Twins
(7) White Sox at (2) A’s
The playoffs begin on Tuesday, September 29.
The Brewers are perfect evidence for why 8 teams are too many
Never spent a single day over .500 all season
In a normal year I agree, this year not as much.
No problem with it this year. Can’t believe there are folks out there calling for this to be a permanent change though. Ridiculous. And when you say you don’t like it they accuse you of hating the concept of change itself.
Exactly. Fine for this year, but going forward it totally devalues the regular season. Baseball was always special with the long everyday season, and if you have 16 teams in the playoffs only the mediocre teams would care. They should leave it at 10, and just make the one wildcard series in each league 2 out of 3.
Perfect post perksy!
16 teams devalue regular season, but having one third of the league stop competing after 6 weeks, half of the league with no motivation to play by mid August and a circus September where usually like 8 teams are even care about anything because they are fighting for WC spots – somehow devalue nothing. Right.
Change needs to happen to stop the tanking. My idea is to split the league at some point – maybe mid-end of August – and then teams in the top half compete for playoff spots (perhaps 8 spots across the leagues for 16 teams to compete for) and then the bottom half split, with the team that finishes with the best record in the bottom half getting the #1 draft pick. Would mean that all game through to the end of the season would count for something, and teams couldn’t tank for #1 pick. Might encourage teams to stay competitive for longer too.
Not sure how this idea would encourage teams to stay competitive longer, as teams would need to determine if they want to stay in or punt on the season much earlier. It would also eliminate the always-exciting late season surges.
There are ways to prevent so-called tanking that don’t destroy the integrity and nature of the game. A salary floor, perhaps. But there are still gonna be bad teams, that’s the nature of things, not some greedy owner’s choice. Teams will still generally have ups and downs.
That 1/3rd of the league should have tried harder and made better decisions to navigate the regular season. This is a professional sport played at the highest levels. There shouldn’t be ‘participation’ trophies handed out for showing up and just playing regular season games.
I don’t see your point…
I’m old enough to remember baseball when two teams finished in 10th place. Their seasons could be effectively over by May, they’d already become so buried in the basement. I was even a fan of one of those teams. Now many fans seem to be into the idea of rewarding mediocrity as if this makes the season more interesting somehow. It sure doesn’t address the problem of tanking, which is entirely about baseball economics and the incentives built into the drafting system.
I’d completely agree with not having 8 teams from each league, but I really would like to see the WC round continue to be a 3 game set. I hate the fact that they play 162 games (non Covid year obviously) only to come down to a single play-in game. As long as they would keep that 3 game set I agree 100%
Must be talking about the cubs.
Exactly!!! How many meaningless games are played in August and September? That’s watered down and causes fans to disengage. MLBis in the business of selling merch and putting butts in seat (when that’s a thing again). This does both. Money speaks!!
It will be a permanent change that the league will add more playoff teams for more revenue. I would guess though that they will go to 7 teams in each league with the best record having a bye in the first round in each league.
I like the format. Just next year make sure we play 162 games with all divisions playing each other.
Not guarantee that we’ll play 162 games next season. Because………well, you know the answer.
How will MLB have a shortened season to the virus in 6 months is NFL is playing all their games right now?
Except the NFL expanded to 17 games
jmlang—–what? I’m pretty sure the rest of the world missed that expansion of the NFL to 17 games–that’s totally wrong.
Oh well that makes it even. 162 still far greater than 17.
3 players and at least 4 staffers on the Titans will start that change.
I agree with @GoLandCrabs, zero justification to shorten next season, IMO. Who knows what can happen though.
I mean, it’s not exactly fair to compare a 16 game NFL season to the arduous, travel-heavy 162 game MLB season. Very different situations. I’m still hoping for a return to a full season, of course, but the actions of the NFL shouldn’t have a significant bearing on whether or not that can happen.
@Strechter35 that’s true. Maybe I’m biased in my opinion because I want to see a full season, but we’ll have to see what happens. I kinda like the expanded postseason if everybody plays 162. I think you can find 8 good teams in each league and it makes it more exciting, imo.
The chances for postponements is reqlly high in baseball.
spot on srecther—-and the real culprit in this whole thing was the timing of it and the calendar…..baseball was literally two weeks away from starting the regular season and NOBODY knew what was going to happen.
Sure they could have played maybe another 15-20 games but the economic impact had to be studied before any arrangements on pay, fans, etc could be considered—and that doesn’t take into account the societal impact.
The NHL and NBA took almost three months to get going and the NFL had four months to get ducks in the row. If the virus hit in August, football would have been playing a much reduced schedule (if at all). And baseball, next spring would have had time to work on a full schedule.
The fact that the above post got five likes is astonishing…like the MLB had an option of playing 162 games in the situation that presented itself starting in March and is still going on.
I can’t find 8 good teams in the NL. I can find 4, maybe 5.
Can’t find 8 good teams in the AL either.
I think the Jays are good enough to win one game from Tampa Bay. Tampa wins series 2-1.
Yankees for the WS win!
Jays did take 2 out 3 earlier this season in Tampa but it’s gonna be tough to do it again.
Can you fix Jose last name?
“The White Sox arrived in a major way led by Tim Anderson and Jose ‘Abre'”.
Can you fix Jose’s first name?
“Can you fix Jose last name?”
Can you “please” fix “José’s” last name?
You are all marvelously pedantic. I like you.
If I’m the braves I hate that match up…also the NL this year is the reason why expanding the playoffs is awful idea.
I know I hate it. They’ll just be booted iut of the first round like every other tine for the past eighteen years
Sam I’ve read a number of remarks with you bashing the Braves. If you are big enough can to call yourself samthebravesfan then maybe just act that way. I understand getting frustrated with things the organization does but I still like our chances. No one has an offense like ours. Not even the Dodgers. I don’t like playing the Reds in 1st found either. Yes they have a nice starting 3 but they average almost half the runs per game we do. I think Fried can hang with Bauer then we will pound their pen at end of the game like we always do. We WILL win this series. Then beat the Marlins or Cubs. Then worry about the Dodgers…or even the Padres. Let’s go Bravos!!!
Just as long as they dont play the Cardinals or have Sam Holbrook as an ump
I like the drama that this has created.
Usually on the last day we know a lot of the playoffs.
Today, there were 44 possibilities of teams and the order of seeds.
What I would like to change is take the best 8 in each division and order them by record. The padres have the 3rd best record in all of MLB but they are the 4 seed in the NL.
I think you have to reward the division winners, otherwise no point in playing the long season and where you seed. It’s too many teams.
There are alternative proposals for next season floating around with 12 or 14 teams, with the division winners getting a bye.
– 3 division winners + 3 best of the rest as wild cards
– Division winners get a bye
– lower 2 WC play against each other, with winner playing against top WC to determine final spot in LDS
– 3 division winners + 4 best of the rest OR 3 second places + 1 best of the rest as wild cards
– Division winners get a bye
– Top WC vs bottom WC; #2 WC plays #3 WC; winners play each other to determine final spot in LDS
More than 10 is too much
But do you want the division winners getting like 10 days off? Baseball is an everyday sport. I understand a couple of days but to have a bunch of wildcards playing so many games.
ABStract – agreed. Mediocrity should not be rewarded.
No one who supports this absurd expanding of the playoffs seems to have answer to the problem of diminishing the meaning of late season games for the best teams so we can watch the mediocres battle it out. Fly by night fans that only tune in if their team is still in it will be cancelled out by all the fans of the top teams whose playoff births will be secured by mid July, and have less reason to be excited. Great teams’ fans should be rewarded with meaningful late season baseball, not forced to watch useless games with the stars being rested so others can watch crap teams back into the playoffs with records hovering around .500. That many teams getting in renders a 162 game season virtually worthless.
Dodgers over Brewers
Cards over Padres
Cubs over Marlins
Reds over Braves
Rays over Blue Jays
Indians over Yankees
Astros over Twins
A’s over White Sox
No way Twins lose series.
Why you say that? Anything can happen in a short series.
Lol. This aged well…
Cards over Padres, no way, not this time. The Padres have the 3rd best record in baseball.
They also have the 3rd worst record in the past 2 weeks of all 16 playoff teams. They are limping right now and primed for a beating by a hot Cardinals team.
A hot Cardinals team? They only took 3 of 5 from the Brewers and lost 2 of 3 to the Royals before that. The Cards are anything but hot.
Don’t ever underestimate the cards though
I like every one of your picks except the Astros over Twins. I just think since the Twins managed to avoid the Yankees this year, they might be able to do something. And the Astros are not exactly the juggernaut they have been the past few years. They are clearly a team on the decline.
Twins seem to have terrible luck in the playoffs. Astros know how to win. They have won and gone deep in the playoffs the last few years.
Twins are a great team, just seem to lack that playoff winning thing.
Dodgers over Brewers
Padres over Cards
Marlins over Cubs
Braves over Reds
Rays over Jays
Indiana over Yanks
Twins over Astros
A’s over Sox
So why doesn’t St. Louis have to play their final 2 games? They could actually finish behind Cincinnati if they lost both. Plus it would probably change their rotation. What’s up with that?
Because MLB dictated they would only have to make up the games if it had implications on HFA or whether or not they made the playoffs. If it was just a matter of different seeding, they would not play them.
As a Cardinals fan, I also wish they would play the final two games so they could lose them and play the Braves.
I’d like to see the cards play them, win, then play the cubs. Least scary team besides Milwaukee
Actually they would have to lose 1 of 2 so the Marlins pass them
If the Cardinals had to play the DH and won both games, they’d still play the Padres, not the Cubs.
I don’t think there’s any scenario where they would play the Cubs in the wild card round. If they won both, they’d still be #5 seed and play the Padres. If they won one and lost one, they’d still be tied with the Marlins (and own the tiebreaker), so they’d still play the Padres. If they lost both, they’d fall below Cincinnati and have to play the Braves.
Right I don’t get that Cincinnati should be at least afforded the chance to be the number 2 in the division. It is the Braves or The Dads and who you line up with could have totally different results based on familiarity.
There was a season?
You must have blinked, madman. =D
The best thing is that none of the NL Central drew one another.
Not a stretch that all could lose in the first round, but would be great to see a second round of Cubs vs Reds and Cards vs Brewers.
There’s a better chance that all four lose. The only one to be favored will be the Cubs and the Marlins can certainly knock them off.
I would favor the Reds too. Nobody wants to face Bauer-Gray-Castillo in a three-game series, especially when you have no starting pitching yourself.
I know they always say that great defense/pitching beats great hitting, but I think this time it’s going to be the offense. Maybe that’s me just being a homer, but the Braves offense is that good.
Your Dodger blue homerism is showing, Cey Hey.
That’s the one thing I’m excited about. Right up until the last day, nearly every projected matchup was within divisions. Only the Rays and Jays ended up that way.
That would be terrible to see – unless you’re a fan of an AL team that wants to face one of them in the WS.
Giants should’ve been in but Rob Drake had other plans…
Hard to blame an umpire when you lose 10 of your final 16.
Had to get it off my chest… I know it’s not the sole reason we lost but if you go back and watch the strike calls that Drake made during key offensive situations it just makes you mad. Made me turn into an advocate for Robo-Umps.
I wonder if Drake’s tweet had something to do with those expanded strike zones against the giants?? Maybe his politics changed the strike zone. Just saying…
That final strike on Slater was horrible. There were apparently other calls as well. MLB seems determined to improve its on-field product. Gotta think they won’t drag their feet on Robo-Umps much longer. My one question regarding robots is on check swings, which is the hardest ball/strike call there is. Will that be left up to the plate umpire, or is some other solution proposed?
It was a horrible call. I think the umpire blinked and missed it. The catcher didn’t even frame it good.
Join the club.
Go watch some Angel Hernandez footage of his last 7-10 days of umpiring.
He was awful!!
Stole at least one game from the White Sox which is all they needed to win division!
The ump blew four calls that ended with strikeouts looking. It was really bad and I thought someone was going to get ejected.
That being said, the Giants seemed to be fried since they lost that second game of the doubleheader. The mojo was out of them the last two games.
Didn’t most of the regular umps opt out for the year? I thought games were being called by AA and AAA umpires. It sure seemed like it.
There were at least 5 strike 3s in that game that were at lead 6 inches off the zone, it was obscene
Lost 10 of 16, and 4 of 5. Padres pulled regulars, halfway through games, and oddly, the Giants announcers were joking about the worst call on a ball outside that missed the plate by probably 4-5 inches.
They went 29-31. A few strikes called low aren’t why the Giants are staying home.
Like I said, I had to get it off of my chest. I believe that had some of those calls gone our way, we would have won that game, especially considering Dubon should’ve walked to set up a Crawford 3 run HR, but was rung up on a pitch inside making it only be a 2 run HR. Still I acknowledge that the team had their faults and losing 10 of 16 didn’t help (Though Yaz being injured for the majority of that stretch didn’t help either.) Tough loss but I am officially on the side that the MLB should have Robo Umps at least by 2023.
If “if and buts were candy and nuts wouldn’t it be a merry Christmas?
Actually, yes it is, in a 1 run game where it is an elimination game, 4 outs is pretty major
If they keep calling a wide or low zone, at some point you have to expand. And when your whole season is at stake on the final day and you’re down one run to a team that’s pulling its best players early each game, maybe a low strike here and there isn’t the reason you’re in that predicament?
It sucks when your team suffers from bad calls, but they weren’t protecting with two strikes, especially when it wasn’t one random call, it was repeated. And again, it came down to game 60 and it didn’t have to. Game 60 isn’t why the Giants aren’t playing on Wednesday.
Next year, a 62 game season with playoff rounds of 100 games. Playoff games on ESPN, TNT, TBS, MLB, Fox I, II, and III, the Cartoon Network and Joel Osteen’s channel.
And that new network emanating from Mara Lago……
What the heck…crazy season anyway. Have some fun with it.
I giggled at the Joel Osteen channel.
Play by play brought to you by Jesus Sucre.
Just say no to Divine Intervention…
“With the first nine months of the Baseketball postseason out of the way, the playoff picture is starting to emerge.”
Laughed out loud
this playoff format and extra innigs format is trash. Hernandez is a trash employee. All around a worthless season
The only way this season was worthless is if you don’t like baseball or you follow a terrible team like the Pirates. The fact that you would rather have no baseball than this indicates that you probably shouldn’t be wasting time on this site.
I’m a legitimate baseball purist, you uneducated swine. My old ballglove belongs on this site more than you and your life-size Altuvé snuggle pillow ever will.
As a Braves fan, Im not excited about Bauer, Castillo and Gray but the #1 offense can hit anyone and the Reds anemic bats may be what the Baby Brave starters need.
Braves are the #2 offense. The Dodgers took the lead in runs scored today (and also led in fewest runs allowed).
They’re still 2nd in walk rate. They’ll find ways to score. The Reds pitchers are first in k/9, while the Braves hitters have a 24.5% k rate. The Braves young starters have had control problems at times, too, especially Anderson. Those numbers tell me all I need to know about what’s going to happen. It’s going to be another season of a first round exit, unfortunately. I’d love to be wrong, but I think there’s a great chance I won’t be, and that’s sad but not surprising.
Fans like to complain, but everyone associated with Major League Baseball deserves a ton of credit for getting this season in. Three months of baseball is better than no baseball at all. As for the rule changes, I thought they were excellent. The extra-inning rule is the best innovation to hit MLB in a long time. I also like the expanded playoff format, even though I’m not supposed to as a Dodger fan. I hope it sticks around, but maybe 14 teams instead of 16. Giving more teams a chance at the post-season will put an end to tanking and dreary five-year plans. It also creates more interest in September. A pet peeve of mine is how football takes over as teams drop out of the race. Anything that makes baseball more appealing to the masses is good in my book.
+1. more playoff teams the better. keep saying how the regular season doesnt matter and good luck vs the Dodgers in the 1st round. fans should be happy they get a better chance to see their teams in the playoffs.
DarkSide, MLB needs to announce the 2021 post-season format sooner than later, as it will totally impact how teams approach the winter. More playoff teams will mean most teams thinking they have a puncher’s chance at the post-season in ‘2`1. And perhaps everyone by ’22, even the Pirates. Creating more enthusiasm is good for the sport.
I am ok with more playoff games. If they want to do this next season though, shorten the season to 154 games and make the wild card round a best of 5. A #1 seed can too easily be upset by even a #8 seed in 3-game series.
Its called wild card for a reaaon… 1 game play in is enough.. how long do you want the season to last, until Thanksgiving?
That’s why you DON’T do this next season, or ever again
Personally I’d rather this season not happened.
I agree, and I’m a fan of a team (Brewers) that somehow got in the playoffs despite a losing record. This whole “season” has been a joke.
I can’t believe the people advocating for more of this nonsense!
10 playoff teams is perfect, if you actually care about teams tanking you’d be for a team salary minimum
Not letting everyone into the postseason!
I got dodgers, padres, reds, cubs in the nl advancing.
In al I have Tampa, indians, twins and a’s.
Dodgers vs Cubs I’m nlcs
Tampa vs a’s in alcs
Atlanta is looking pretty good with the young SPs and an excellent bullpen. They’re also really good defensively. I realize people are talking up the Reds’ rotation. I just think the Braves are a bad matchup for that team. Granted, anyone can win a best-of-three.
Their SP actually looks abysmal, especially if Fried can’t go. It’s going to come down to whether starting pitching (Reds) or offense (Braves) prevails.
Fried will be pitch Game `1. The Braves are just a better team. Outside of Suarez, nobody on the Reds would start for the Braves. And let’s not forget that defense is important. Fans tend to not bring that up when analyzing teams.
I think you already know the answer to that Ry. The Braves always lose to inferior teams in the postseason anyways, but at the same time, only in a faux season could the Braves end their first rd loss streak. The Reds have a real shot at the NLCS, tbh.
If Fried can go 7 in game one, with the depth of the Braves bullpen, Wright/Anderson really just need to go four decent innings. Hopefully Martin isn’t too hurt, the Braves will probably need all hands on deck.
Zero chance that Nick Markakis would start over Castellanos.
Anderson is legit. High draft pick, highly rated prospect, it’s not surprising that he’s pitching this well.
Wright, his story is more unclear. Another high pick and highly rated prospect, his numbers look bad, but ever since he finally put it together and got his first win he’s been good.
Last three starts: 19 IP, 11 h, 6 bb, 14 k, 2.37 era. 0.89 WHIP.
Markakis isn’t really a starter for the Braves. Acuna, Ozuna, and Duvall would all be ahead of Castellanos. There is nothing impressive about Castellanos’, OPS+ of 105 and shaky defense. Braves with a run differential of +60. Reds right at 0. It’s interesting how the Reds have become a sexy pick even though the Braves are clearly the better team.
Markakis had 128 plate appearances in the OF this year and 4 at DH and Ozuna had 88 in the OF and 175 at DH. Markakis was absolutely the main starter there this year.
And fine, assume you move Ozuna to the OF, then Castellanos would have the DH spot locked up over anyone the Braves have to offer there.
Cards should be forced to play a double header tomorrow
Agree. They lose two and they’re a 7 seed.
What incentive is there for Detroit to play two meaningless games?
Doesn’t really matter. They either get the Braves or they get the Padres. It’s not a win-win situation either way.
Agree – I would prefer they lose two and play the Braves.
If I was a Padres fan (perish the thought), I would much rather play th Cardinals than the Reds. The Reds had the 3rd best record in the month of September. They are as hot as anyone right now and would sweep the Padres. At least with the Cardinals, the Padres have a chance.
The pads are tough I don’t envy anyone going up against them this year
Why? They have already had to play 14 doubleheaders. It’s not that big of a deal.
Blue Jays over Padres.
Fernando Tatis Jr meets Vlad Guerrero Jr interesting.
The second round matchups will be:
Braves VS Brewers
Padres VS Marlins
Sandy Alcantara shuts down the Cubs in game one and then the Cubs blow a lead in game three. Dodgers choke big time and the Brewers bullpen dominates the series.
Ray’s VS Indians
Twins Vs A’s
Nothing exciting happens in the AL.
Dodgers “choke? They have gone to the World Series two of the last three years and this is their best team. They just need an opponent that plays fair. As for the Brewers, they are now essentially down to one starting pitcher with Burnes and Anderson being hurt.
Sounds like they’re due to choke then :).
I am really curious to see how the three game series goes. One or two big dogs are going to get knocked off. All it takes is one bad game, one pitcher not having it, one reliever getting lit up late in the game, and the series is blown up.
You’re right the Nats 100% didn’t play fair last season lol
I’ll enjoy watching the Nats in the NIT.
Anything can happen in a best of 3 series
Gotta love it when a fan of a team that spends more than double the payroll of most of their rivals complaining about other teams “playing fair.” As soon as there is a salary cap and a salary floor where there is actually a level playing field, no one should be complaining about fair play.
I like it. As a Giants fan I’m hardcore rooting for the Brewers and the Marlins are a fun story to watch.
I’m thinking White Sox > A’s though, Chapman being injured is a big deal especially on defense.
The Cubs just don’t look that good IMO. 11/15 in runs and 4/15 in era (I’m actually surprised to see them that high). Darvish and Kendricks are good, but Darvish has had his bad moments in the playoffs, and does Lester or Mills go 3? The biggest problem is how bad their offense has been and I have no faith in the bullpen. Sandy is legit and can go out there and go 7 or 8 and shut them down in game one.
Why would you be surprised to see the Cubs 4/15 being that high? It’s really hard to find more than a couple teams that have a “better” 1-2 combination than Darvish and “H”endricks and surprise—-they have had the best bullpen of all 30 teams the last full month of the season.
Yes Sandy can shut them down–no doubt. Quick fact–the Cubs played 17 postseason games in 2016—-they got shutout in FOUR of them and scored one in another. That was 30% of the games with one or fewer runs and they won the World Series.
(and I think you can give Darvish a small slice of the benefit of the doubt on his bad playoff moments…..(bang, bang).
I haven’t really paid attention to much stats this season, but listening to Chicago radio, you’d think the Cubs had the worst team ever (Lester this, Kimbrel that), so I was going off of those memories before checking the stats. But I guess they finished first for a reason, and it wasn’t because of their offense.
Kimbrel has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball outside of the first couple weeks of the season.
You must have stopped listening to Chicago radio a month ago. Even you saying Sandy can shut down the Cubs, Hendricks and Darvish can shut down the Marlins. Marlins are a great story, but Sandy also pitched against the Yankees 1 time and Rays 2 times, his other games were the Phillies x2, Nationals and Redsox. Darvish has better numbers and went against more playoff teams (all but his first game was against a playoff team).
The Brewers rotation is in shambles. Woodruff, Hader and Williams can’t pitch every inning.
No, but Hader, Williams, and Knebel in a three game series can all pitch 4 innings a piece. Throw in Woodruff for six and you just need the other two starters to go a combined nine innings.
You’re assuming that the other two starter can get nine innings and you seem to be neglecting the fact that for those guys to pitch four innings each they will either have to pitch multiple innings and have NO off days within the series. The BEST thing that came out of this year is that the playoffs will replicate the regular season and a team with three starting pitchers and a couple of back end guys won’t dominate October like the past. There will be a high value on teams with really good third and fourth starters and guys that really do pitch the sixth and seventh innings.
And that’s also assuming the Brewers would only pitch six guys in the series, which obviously wouldn’t happen. Hader and Williams could both easily pitch two in game one and two in game three, obviously not the case if they had really high pitch counts, but two in games one and three wouldn’t be outrageous. Knebel would really be a stretch, but I could see him going two in one and one in another, I’ll admit four for him would be stretching it.
Regardless, you’re talking about close to ten innings from pretty good relievers.
@Briffle, your matchups don’t match. Second round would be the winner from:
Probably will be Dodgers/Padres and Cubs/Reds
Despite the lack of postseason, I liked this season from the Rangers perspective. This definatley seemed like a fast-forward x2 for the Rangers. Lynn trade talks, Odor trade talks, and now potential gm and manager changes. Our prospects were tested, and all (except for Sherten Apostle) came through. I see Huff and Tejeda starting off 21′ in AAA. Kyle Cody was a nice story, and he looks like a legit candidate in the 21′ rotation. Taylor Hearn has also had a good go in the pen, and I expect him to start in 21′. Solak (oddly) led all rookies in hits this season despite being subpar. Joey Gallo and Willie Calhoun need brain-breaks; they seemed flustered.
I want to see us sign Ozuna or Brantley as our main FA pickup because they aren’t blocking anybody in left field (especially if we trade Odor and move Solak to 2nd). I think Kluber signs back, and I’d also like to see us go get James Paxton on a cheaper deal. I don’t expect us to get Paxton though, I see Anthony Desclafani in our future, or hopefully a super cheap Chris Archer.
This all happened while we sat at the bottom of the league, and we have a great chance to pickup a stud in the draft like Jud Fabian or Jack Leiter (hopefully the Leiter). Nice progression, and I think this was a good season.
Drafting order is no big deal. The Dodgers always pick near the end of the first round and have the best farm system/player development in the game. They will have 15 or 16 homegrown players on their playoff roster, including four (and perhaps) five from the 2016 draft.
That’s because they are a well run organization. We on the other hand have to rely on can’t-miss guys that probably will miss despite their prospect status because we can’t develop players. And Kip Fagg is still our scouting direction, so after the first round we can kiss our draft goodbye.
There are no can’t-miss guys in the baseball draft. Too many variables, particularly when it comes to pitchers. Sometimes I think all drafted pitchers should have TJ Surgery just to get it over with. Btw, Friedman’s first Dodger draft pick was Walker Buehler, who was headed for TJ Surgery.
Re the Rangers: They seem headed in a positive direction thanks to the young position players up the middle. Tavares, Tejeda, and Huff appear ready. If they get a #2 SP to go with Lynn and bouncebacks from Gallo and Calhoun, then who knows? They’re the kind of team that can benefit from a return of the expanded playoffs. Play in October while continuing to rebuild. Oakland and Houston have question marks heading into the winter.
I do agree with the no can’t-miss guys statement. I mean, even if Kumar Rocker also mastered his changeup, he still wouldn’t be can’t-miss, but he would be a really good prospect.
As for your thoughts on the Rangers, I do not think we can even make it into the expanded playoffs if Calhoun and Gallo bounce back. It’ll help, but it will take a lot more work to the back end of the rotation to help this team win. Lynn and Kluber would be a nice duo, but I think it is inevitable that we trade Lynn this off-season, and hopefully get one really good prospect. Next year will be a re-working year for us, and hopefully in 21’s off-season we can go get Trevor Story in free agency.
Not sure if you frequent TR and Evan Grant’s reports or hear JDs interviews on the FAN, but it’s been consistently reported that Rangers ownership is slashing payroll and that the team will not be major players in free agency i.e. they will wait for opportunistic stop gap signs for players’ markets that bottom out and want short term deals to rebuild value. Although Brantley and Paxton would be nice signs, I think we are more likely to go after a roll of the dice for a bounce back candidate like Cespedes, Homer Bailey or a vet who may want to continue on with their career without much guarantee of PT elsewhere (a Howie Kendrick type) to help bridge the gap for Jung, Apostel, Wendzel, etc. Not advocating that missive, but that’s what it looks like. With JDs contract expiring, Rangers may move on from him and go full blow rebuild with a fresh face.
Yeah, I read their stuff, and i’ve seen the JD comments, but crazier things could happen. Especially since Rosenthal and Jim Bowden have said that JD and Woodward might be on the hot seat this off-season. Back to what you were saying, we are slashing payroll, but I’m not sure by how much. We are already cutting 69 million after Choo, Fielder, Minor, and some other’s contracts end. I could see 10 – 15 of the million for Kluber, and probably another 5- 10 for Desclafani. Not to downplay your comments on Bailey, but I don’t like his age, vs Disco who could recieve a multi year deal. I would like to see Tommy La Stella get signed as a stopgap at 3rd for 21′. I also really want to see Clint Frazier come over in a Lynn, Montero + trade. Ideally, this is my 21′ lineup and rotation.
Guzman (Who I want to see get a chance in 21′)
I also want to see Mathis take over as manager. I love his leadership. Have Huff and Tejeda come up later, and this is a good team.
Lots seem to be discounting the Jays chances against the Rays, but they played them tough all season, I think the Jays went 4-6 with 4 of those 6 losses coming by one run. I wouldn’t count them out just yet.
Reds/Yankees WS. Reds in 6! Let me dream-ha
I want to see the Reds in the WS, and these are the matchups I need injected into my veins.
Reds – Astros
Reds – Indians
Reds – Blue Jays
Astros because that would make Bauer face Houston probably 3 times.
Indians because Bauer would face his old team, and it would be an awesome pitching duel.
Jays because I think that would be amazing. A team that relies on pitching, and one that relies on hitting.
What will happen… Padres – A’s
Two good bullpens, and savvy offensive clubs that will dominate their opposition. No Dodgers in the WS… haha.
The Dodgers hit, pitch, and catch the ball better than either of those teams. I don’t get some of the anti-Dodgers comments here. A likable bunch of guys both on and off the field with a roster that is mostly homegrown. It’s not their fault that other teams are poorly run. Is it more a matter of envy?
Well… not envy per say, but I just want some sympathy after the Rangers went to back to back WS and lost each time. They were dominate for most of the 2010’s, but they never won it all. I don’t hate the guys on the team (except for Belli, I just don’t like the guy), it’s just a matter of wanting to share some pain lol.
And it’s not fun to say Rays – Dodgers WS, that’s just too obvious.
Every league will always dislike the juggernaut… Warriors weren’t likeable in the NBA… pats weren’t in the NFL.. biggest difference here is that the Dodgers have somehow accomplished the feat of being the biggest juggernaut of the league while also being the biggest chokers of the league, making teams dislike them but also laugh at them when they fail. I admit though they have likeable players, as a Giants fan it’s hard to dislike Kershaw, he’s a class act, as is Mookie.
The Dodgers are not MLB’s juggernaut. They haven’t won in 30 years. The Yankees are MLB’s juggernaut. And justifiably hated by many.
Yankees? Maybe in the past. Currently they’re the 5th seed in the AL, id consider the Dodgers to be this years juggernaut and probably the juggernaut of the past 4 years.
Juggernauts are not made in a single season or even in the past 4 years. Juggernauts are made over generations. The Celtics are still the juggernaut franchise in the NBA.
I know this is a baseball chat. But you’re crazy if you think the Celtics are the nba juggernaut. They went 21 yrs between finals appearances. They won most of their titles in the 60’s. And since 87 they’ve been to the finals 2 times. Lakers in that same time frame have been to 12 finals. Celtics are not what they once were
I just think they should let Steve Bartman into the Marlins Cubs games.
I know nothing about the A’s pitching.
Are any of their likely games 1 & 2 starters LEFT handed?!! Sox counting on it!
Got a 50/50 chance.
16 playoff teams and only 9 are good by my count. Don’t expand the playoffs permanently, it’s watering down the playoffs and reduces the chances of the best team winning. Teams like the Brewers or Blue Jays being able to pull of two games and eliminating the best teams is not good for baseball. There’s no reason to reward mediocrity to the point where sub .500 teams have the ability to eliminate powerhouses.
Blue Jay’s aren’t bad. I think you mean Astros.
More teams having a chance is good for the game, and I say that as a Dodgers fan.
I don’t think it’s good for the game at all, and I’m a Reds fan – I rarely see my team in the playoffs. If sub .500 teams are making the playoffs then tell me why I should have any interest at all watching the first four months of the season?
Looks like this is a good place to put some predictions. Here goes nothing.
Dodgers over Brewers
Reds over Braves
Marlins over Cubs
Padres of Cardinals
Rays over Blue Jays
White Sox over A’s
Twins over Astros
Yankees over Indians
World Series is the Dodgers over the Yankees in 6.
It’s all just an opinion but I don’t see the Dodgers losing this one. Granted, anything can happen with this weird postseason. Should be entertaining but I definitely don’t want to see 16 teams making the playoffs again. I’m all for an expanded playoffs, but you have to give more to the division winners as you can’t be rewarded by playing in the wild card. Maybe 12 teams and two wild cards games in each league. Two one game playoffs per league would allow more teams in and would certainly be entertaining.
Good luck with that- Dodgers were the best team to win last three years and no one expected them to lose then either. This year will be different but I’m not crowning them Champs yet. Yankees have so many injuries and unasked questions. Even Cole isn’t 2019 Cole. He had an FIP close to 4.
I dont think Yankees beat the Indians to be honest.
I mostly picked the Yankees to take the AL pennant because of those hitters getting healthy. If every game is a slug fest, it favors the Yankees. And their starting pitching has the ability to surprise with Cole being who he is, saving the bullpen for game 2.
And truly, this prediction might just be something I’d love to see, more than something that will actually happen. As the Indians have a great chance to get to the WS.
Marlins going to surprise here. 7 or 6 would have been nice, but I agree, 8 is too many.
Tampa over Blue Jays
Indians over Yankees
Astros over Twins
A’s over White Sox
Dodgers over Brewers
Reds over Braves
Marlins over Cubs
Cardinals over Padres
Dodgers over Reds
Marlins over Cardinals
Tampa over Indians
A’s over Astros
Marlins over Dodgers
Tampa over A’s
Tampa over Marlins
Makes sense. 2020 really is the Florida of baseball seasons.
As a viewer who’s fav team isn’t in the playoffs I’d either want Reds/Indians, A’s/Dodgers, or Rays/Marlins
just my opinion on what I think would be the most fun series to watch
I’m a Brewers fan, and I think this playoff format is garbage. No way should the Crew be in the “postseason” this year. I don’t really consider it a playoff birth.
Well, hopefully they’re not in for long, for the sake of both of us.
Btw, the Dodgers-Brewers NLCS in 2018 was one of my favourite series ever.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Pretty intriguing group of teams.
Huge hat tip to the owners & players for making it through the season. This year has not been easy. Baseball’s effort was inspiring for those of us trying to – ya know – muddle through – or whatever.
Whomever wins the series is a deserving champion.
Let’s go fellas!
As a Padres fan for many years, I did not want to face the Cardinals. On the flip side, now is the time to face them, and seriously beat them down.
Ok, here are my predictions:
Tampa over Toronto
Cleveland over NY
Minnesota over Houston
Oakland over Chicago
LA over Milwaukee
San Diego over St Louis
Chicago over Miami
Cincinnati over Atlanta
Tampa over Cleveland
Oakland over Minnesota
LA over San Diego
Cincinnati over Chicago
Oakland over Tampa
LA over Cincinnati
Oakland over LA
Hey everybody, the Winter meetings are in two and a half months. Mark your calendars!
I hope Manfred paid attention.
1) Keep best 8 teams in AL & NL making playoffs.
2) Seeding should be based on games over .500 & play over last 10 games for tie-breaker. Trace back 10 at a time if needed.
AL:TB, MIN, OAK, CLE, CHI, NYY, TOR, HOU
TB vs HOU, MIN vs TOR, OAK vs NYY, CLE vs CHI
L10: CLE 8-2, CHI 2-8
NL:LAD, SD, ATL, CHC, CIN, STL, MIA, MIL
LAD vs MIL, SD vs MIA, ATL vs STL, CHC vs CIN
L10: CIN 7-3, STL 6-4, MIA 5-5
3) Teams that play less games must have similar spans over .500 or play makeup games.
STL fin 1W less than both MIA & CIN but all 3 were 2 over .500.
We can assume the cutoff for this season was 2 fewer games.
If STL had fin 30-27 MLB needs to make them play another on Mon.
So the cutoff over a 162 gm season will be 5 fewer games.
If STL were to fin 89-67 next year they’d need to play another game.
4) This is NOT the NCAA! Please NO BRACKETS! Re-seed after every round.
Brackets only make the road tougher for the best team in each league.
Renteria can’t ignore the fact the Chi-Sox went 2-8, but OAK went 5-5.
With both Robert & Moncada hitting again the lineup should be much better vs OAK.
The thumpers shouldn’t be missing games due to nagging injuries.
The pitching is a mess. They must win the Giolito & Keuchel starts.
The rest need to be short hooks. Consider those starts bullpen starts.
Pray that Cease, Dunning, & Lopez can pitch more innings than runs they give up.
The rotation has to remain because both Rodon & Gonzo can’t go more than 9 outs.
That’s the biggest loss in a short season.
Starters don’t have the time to build the endurance once they go down.
Calome is by far the best relief pitcher they have.
Losing Calome while advancing is not worth it.
The Miami Marlins are going to win it all! I am not even a Marlins fan, my team made the playoffs but because baseball is weird and it is a weird season that’s how it’s going to go down. I don’t have a single logical explanation, and my call is absolutely stupid without any verifiable facts but I would be ok if that happened because it would be good for baseball and their crippling fan base.
With the shortened season I was expecting a few surprises, such as a couple unexpected division winners. But it didn’t really happen, if they kept the old playoff format the teams that would’ve made it would have been about what you’d expect going into the season.
The Astros being the 6th after finishing 2 games under .500 is a joke. It should have been the 3 division winners and then the 5 best teams (by record) regardless of division.
They are below .500 because of the Rangers winning three games straight against them in the end… We may not be in line to draft Rocker, but that feels good none-the-less… hehe
Are the brackets locked in or do they reseed after each round? For example, if the Dodgers win round 1 and the Reds (#7) upset the Braves, would the Dodgers get the Reds in round 2 or do they play the winner of the Pads/Cards series no matter what?
Yeah the brackets are locked in. So if the Dodgers win, they will have to play the winner of the Padres-Cardinals series no matter what happens in the rest of the NLWC games.
Every .500 team and two sub-.500 teams… normally I’d have a problem with it, but in a normal season we’d be over a month away from the All-Star Break after 60 games.
The last week or two of a 162-game series is exciting because almost anything can happen with the playoff slots. They have to do something to account for that, and inviting 53% of the league to the playoffs gives things a chance to shake out a bit.
Doesn’t letting more than half the teams in make a 162 game season a bit of a joke? Plus they’ll be no more meaningful pennant races. The “meaningful” games in late season would be played between mediocre to below average teams. Kinda kills the excitement. Completely devalues the long regular season.
I’m not quite sure where you got the idea that I think they should do this in a 162-game season
I’m probably misinterpreting your second paragraph.
Everyone gets a ‘prize’ except a few-just like in the schoolrooms and lecture theatres-no one ‘fails’-and you wonder why we end up with the society we have today. You lose more games than you win but you still get a shot at it. What an absolute farce and a joke. How dare I be critical.
Dodgers and Oakland in the WS. A’s succumb in six. Disclaimer: I picked LA to win the WS the past two years. But, hey, I’m due. Right?
Meanwhile, my Phillies did another September el-foldo. Only had to win one game in TB to make the playoffs and they got swept. Some heads are gonna roll, and they should start with Matt Klentak.
The Reds have more wins than the Cards but are a lower seed.
I get that making this season 100% legit went out the window a while ago but 31 wins is more than 30.
If the Cards can’t play a full schedule (they could have, but…MLB didn’t seem to care all that much if it happened) so be it, but don’t reward it.
Yeah, that’s bull
stan lee the manly
I’d argue it’s the Reds that get the reward. They have a much weaker first round matchup and a weaker side of the bracket in general.
Too many teams … this better not continue. Astros, brewers in with losing records… they don’t even deserve an off change of winning a playoff series much less a World Series… A Covid year, I’ll accept this. But any other year this would drive me insane
If those calling for expanded playoffs to become permanent have their way, we’ll be seeing late season playoff hunts being played between sub-.500 teams as the truly exciting, winning teams play out the string. The Yanks and the Dodgers will be resting their regulars by late July. Ugh.
Oakland vs LAD in WS. Oakland wins.
Some posters like the drama that comes with the expanded playoff format. However, with the added drama, you have displaced excellence with mediocracy. Chance becomes a bigger part of winning the World Series. Imagine a World Series this year between the Astros and the Brewers. No offense to the fans of either team, but neither team finished above five hundred and neither deserves to be in the playoffs. I would prefer a smaller playoff (two divisions each league, playoffs between the division winners and on inter league play), a playoff based on excellence not drama and mediocracy.
SO this is basically akin to the gas-leak year in Community right? Cool.
Since everyone else is posting their playoffs predictions:
Dodgers over Brewers (too much talent for the Dodgers to lose this one, the Brewers can’t hit)
Padres over Cardinals
Cubs over Marlins (although, it would be fun to see Marlins keep up history of winning WS every time they make playoffs)
Reds over Braves (barely, I think this one will be close)
Rays over Blue Jays (I don’t think Blue Jays are far enough into their rebuild to beat the Rays)
Indians over Yankees
Twins over Astros (the start of the end for the Astros)
White Sox over A’s
MIA’s season is remarkable considering they used 62 players, had all that covid19 time off & still played 60 games. Still, the Dodgers avg’d a little over 2 losses for every 10 games this short season & the Rays avg’d a little less than 3 losses for every 10.
They both did 8-2 to close out. World Series: LAD > TAM
NLCS: LAD > SD
ALCS: TAM > CHI
NLDS: LAD > CIN, SD > MIA
ALDS: TAM > CLE, CHI > MIN
NLWC: LAD > MIL, CIN > ATL, MIA > CHC, SD > STL
ALWC: TAM > TOR, CLE > NYY, MIN > HOU, CHI > OAK
Dodgers can’t play San Diego in the NLCS. It’d be the NLDS. Not sure about the rest of how you arrange it.
And to think that I was just having fun when I predicted the Marlins winning the World Series in 7 games over the White Sox, after defeating the Padres in the NLCS.
This can actually happen.
I’ve got a dead cinch lock on which team wins the WS…….check back with me on Oct. 29th.
I love the new playoffs and from a marketing standpoint it’s a success. If 2020 is a normal season is Baltimore or San Francisco even trying? By late July over half of the teams know they have no shot at going to the playoffs. Try selling tickets. For those saying just win then, we can’t all have the money of the dodgers or Yankees. This new format keeps more fan bases engaged and sells more merchandise. Money is what MLB answers to.
For those saying it “waters down the regular season”, does it? When in August half the games played are meaningless. That is watered down to me.
Baseball games are only meaningless if you don’t care about baseball. If you do care, all the games are meaningful.
As I watch the Chi-Sox take a 4-1 lead over the A’s vs a LH, I see the cheating champion HOU in the upper rt.
HOU & MIL should not have been invited. TAM & LAD should’ve been given 1st rd byes.
With the exception of the NBA East, I think it’s rare for below .500 teams to make the playoffs in the NFL, NHL, & NBA.
MLB fans don’t want “bad” teams making the playoffs.
Manfred needs to understand that the added revenue with a “bad” team appearance
is not worth the damage to the legacy.
GOING FORWARD then 1st rd byes should be used to restrict bad teams from the playoffs.
Byes must be balanced so decent teams might lose out.
Finishing 2nd in a weak division should NOT gain a team a seeding advantage.
Tie-breaker should always be record over last 10 games. Keep going back 10 games until there’s a clear winner. That makes the games in Sept & Aug worth the most.
Only divisional winners and the next best team should be guaranteed playoff spots.
Everything else is subject to balancing byes.
Let’s say 2021 sees 8 teams in the AL at or above .500 but only 6 such teams in the NL.
Two decent AL teams would miss out.
The 2020 AL seeds should’ve been TAM, OAK, MIN, CLE, CHI, NYY & TOR.
TAM bye, OAK vs TOR, MIN vs NYY, CLE vs CHI
The 2020 NL seeds should’ve been LAD, ATL, CHC, SD, CIN, MIA, & STL.
LAD bye, ATL vs STL, CHC vs MIA, SD vs CIN
Re-seed AFTER every round.
I believe that even fans like myself willing to accept a possible 16 teams in the playoffs each year do NOT want brackets.
Again if TAM & LAD have byes, they should get the weakest surviving seed in rd 2.
If Manfred has some sense & accepts a proposal of this nature, both the owners
& MLBPA have an incentive to tweak the draft & trade rules each year to improve
competitive balance. MLB would max out it’s revenue each year it produces
at least 8 decent (>= .500) teams in both leagues.
Did MLB not realize the potential of rewarding the cheating champion HOU in this year’s post season? Manfred’s silly seeding rules kept a 30W HOU team from facing the best team until the ALCS. ESPN is dumb for even mentioning a word of worthiness when it comes to these “seeded” matchups. There is none when a 36W CHI team is seeded worse than a 33W NYY or 30W HOU. HOU needs 2 more wins to match the best team’s 1st rd matchup: TOR.
That’s like a #1 seed in an NCAA regional meeting a #16 seed in the Final Four.
In Manfred’s world that can happen a lot. In the real world it never happens.
If Manfred can’t be convinced of how stupid his seeding rules are he needs to be fired.
Manfred is nothing more than ownership’s mouthpiece. They aren’t going to fire him because he is doing the job they want him to do, which is to go out there and find them the most money they can possibly make.
The commissioner doesn’t work for the fans. He doesn’t work for the players. He works for ownership. So many fans simply refuse to get this simple fact. I have no idea why.